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Digital library expert Anne Kenney is named to lead Cornell University Library system

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Simeon Moss

Anne Kenney, an internationally respected expert in digital library development, has been named Cornell's Carl A. Kroch University Librarian.

She has been serving as interim university librarian since February 2007, following the departure of Sarah Thomas to become Bodley's Librarian and director of University Library Services at Oxford University.

Kenney, whose appointment is subject to approval by the Executive Committee of the Cornell Board of Trustees at its April meeting, has been an administrator with Cornell Library for more than 20 years.

"During the course of our search for this pivotal position, it became clear that Anne Kenney's innovative leadership, breadth of knowledge, and national and international reputation make her a superb choice for university librarian," said Cornell Provost Carolyn (Biddy) Martin. "I am pleased that we can continue to benefit from Anne's vision and proven ability to engage the university community as she guides our library system into the future, a future toward which Cornell will continue to lead."

As the chief academic and administrative officer of the university's extensive library system, Kenney will lead one of the world's largest research libraries, with a total budget of over $50 million, a staff of more than 450 and more than 7.5 million volumes. Cornell has 20 constituent libraries located in Ithaca, Geneva (N.Y.), New York City and Doha (Qatar), and it also actively serves scholars around the globe.

"I am honored to be selected as Cornell's 11th university librarian," Kenney said. "Cornell University Library combines international leadership in digital library development with an abiding commitment to traditional scholarly resources. It consistently tops user surveys for the excellence of its services and holdings, ranking as the key campus service by graduating seniors and among the top criteria contributing to faculty work satisfaction. Based on our strengths -- first-rate collections, outstanding staff, central campus locations, constituent support -- the library is well positioned to address key challenges of the next decade and maintain its pre-eminent academic place. I can't think of an institution that I would more enjoy leading in this work."

Kenney came to Cornell Library in 1987 and served as associate director for the Department of Preservation and Conservation until 2001. During that time, and from 2002 to 2006 as associate university librarian for instruction, research and information services, she helped spearhead a period of change and growth that has made Cornell Library a pioneer in digitization, network access and scholarly publishing. Active in the archival and preservation communities, Kenney is a fellow and past president of the Society of American Archivists. She currently serves on the Social Science Research Council's Committee on Libraries and Archives of Cuba and is a member of the Advisory Committee of Portico, a nonprofit digital preservation service. She has served as a commissioner of the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (National Archives), the National Science Foundation/European Union Working Group on a Digital Preservation Research Agenda, and was a member of the Clinton/Gore presidential transition team.

Kenney is known internationally for her pioneering work in developing standards for digitizing library materials that have been adopted by organizations around the world, including such important archives as JSTOR, the Scholarly Journal Archive. She is the co-author of three award-winning monographs and more than 50 articles and reports. She has been the recipient of several awards, including: Yahoo en espaƱol's 2002 award in the category "Internet y computadoras"; the Society of American Archivists' Best Book Award (Leland Prize) in 1997 and 2000 for books on digital imaging for libraries and archives; the SAA Preservation Publication Award in 1995 and 2004; and the 2001 LITA/Library Hi Tech Award for Outstanding Communication in Library and Information Technology from the American Library Association. More recently, her research in organizational aspects of digital preservation has resulted in publication of reports of e-journal archiving and a training program that has had an international impact.

She received her bachelor's degree from Duke University in 1972, a master's degree in history from the University of Missouri-St. Louis in 1975 and a master's degree in library services in 1979 from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

An avid hiker, in February Kenney scaled Mt. Kilimanjaro from the Tanzania side.

 


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